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Modi govt thinks big on renewables, targets solar cover of 39,600 MW under PLI scheme

PM Narendra Modi has been focusing on issues on climate change (Photo: IANS)

The Narendra Modi government, which outlined green growth as part of the seven pillars or Saptrishi in this year’s budget, has announced an allocation of a total capacity of 39,600 MW of domestic solar PV module manufacturing capacity to 11 companies. Importantly, the exercise is expected to generate more than one lakh jobs with 35,010 getting direct employment while another 66,477 being indirectly employed.

The total outlay, part of the second tranche investments, is estimated at Rs 14,007 crore under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for High Efficiency Solar PV modules, made by connecting together photovoltaic (PV) cells also known as solar cells. These have the ability to convert the energy captured from sun into electric energy. This energy is sustainable as it does not pollute the environment.

According to an official statement, manufacturing capacity totaling 7400 MW is expected to become operational by October and another 16,800 MW capacity by April next year. A capacity of 15,400 MW is expected to be ready by April 2026.

Overall investments as part of tranche-II are expected to be around Rs 93,041 crore.

R K Singh, Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy said the PLI scheme has proved to be a watershed event in India’s renewable landscape resulting in around 48 GW domestic module manufacturing capacity within the next three years. He added that the success also reflects the progress of Aatmanirbhar India.

A total integrated capacity of 8737 MW was allocated under tranche-I of the Scheme last year. The total domestic solar PV module manufacturing capacity – taking into account tranche I and II, allocated under the PLI Scheme is 48,337 MW, with a cumulative support of more than Rs 18,500 crore provided for by the government.

Prime Minister Modi has been emphasising the need to amplify the thrust on green growth by increasing production of renewable energy, reducing the use of fossil fuel, and finally, moving towards a gas-based economy. India is aggressively looking to achieve energy security amid rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics.

“India has been the fastest when it comes to renewable energy capacity addition among major economies since 2014,” Modi said while addressing the first post budget webinar last month.

The Prime Minister also added that India’s commanding position in the renewable energy space will ensure a commensurate change in the world.

The World Economic Forum earlier noted that a total of $14.5 billion was invested in renewable energy in India. This was 125 per cent higher compared to financial year 2020-21 and 72 per cent higher than in the pre-pandemic period of the 2019-20. As of August 31, 2022, renewable energy sources, including large hydropower, have a combined installed capacity of 163 GW in India.

Also read: PM Modi invites investors to turn India into a global green-energy leader